Language: Old English
Origin: woruld 'human existence, this world, age'


1 noun
Related topics: Astronomy
world1 S1 W1

our planet/everyone on it

the world

SG the planet we live on, and all the people, cities, and countries on it [↪ earth]COLLOCATIONS COLLOCATIONS
a part of the world the highest/most powerful etc in the world the world's oldest/tallest etc ... around the world all over the world/the world over (=everywhere in the world) throughout/across the world (=everywhere in the world) anywhere in the world the rest of the world the whole/entire world see/travel the world (=travel to many different countries)
Tuberculosis is still common in some parts of the world.
At that time China was the most powerful country in the world.
The Taj Mahal attracts visitors from around the world.
Students from all over the world come to study at Oxford.
Children are the same the world over.
The book has been published throughout the world.
There is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world.
Europe's relationship with the rest of the world
I decided to take a year off to travel the world.
a crime that shocked the world

in the world

used to emphasize what you are saying
the happiest/most exciting etc ... in the world
I'm the luckiest man in the world!
Bali is my favourite place in the whole world.
Off he went, without a care in the world (=not be worried about anything at all).
Nothing in the world (=nothing at all) can save them now.
Don't worry, we've got all the time in the world (=plenty of time so you do not need to hurry).
what/who/where/how etc in the world ...? (=used when you are very surprised or annoyed)
What in the world are you doing here at seven in the morning?

the society we live in

[singular] the society that we live in, the way people behave, and the kind of life we have:
Parents want a better world for their children.
the world
The world is being transformed by information technology.
You had to go into politics if you wanted to change the world.
in an ideal/perfect world (=used to say how you would like things to be)
In an ideal world, we would be able to recycle everything.
the real world (=the way life really is, not how people would like it to be or imagine it)
In the real world, things are never quite so simple.
what is the world coming to? (=used to say that you do not like the way society is changing)
Five pounds just to park your car! I don't know what the world's coming to.

group of countries

[singular] a particular group of countries
the Western/Arab etc world
the highest unemployment rate in the Western world
the English-speaking world
agricultural practices in the developing world

time in history

[singular] a particular period in history
the modern/ancient world
the peoples of the ancient world
the world of ...
the world of the Ancient Greeks

somebody's life and experiences

[countable] the life and experiences of a particular person or group of people
world of
the world of children
The diary gives us an insight into Hemingway's world.

area of activity/work

[countable usually singular] a particular area of activity or work, and the people who are involved in it
the world of politics/business/work etc
She knew little about the world of politics.
the art/business/academic etc world
personalities from the sporting world


the natural/animal/plant world

HB all of nature, or all animals or plants considered as a group:
the wonders of the natural world


[countable usually singular] a particular kind of place or situation, especially one that someone describes or which you imagine
world of
the nightmare world of Orwell's novel 1984
a world of lies and secrecy

another planet

[countable]HA a place like the Earth in another part of the universe where other things may live:
strange creatures from another world

something is very different

[countable] used in the following phrases to emphasize that something is very different:
There's a world of difference between the US and Europe.
I realized we were still worlds apart (=very different, especially concerning your ideas, opinions etc ).
It was a world away from (=completely different from) the grand hotels she was used to.

the outside world

the people who live outside a particular place or country - used when the people of that place or country do not often meet other people:
Prisoners have little contact with the outside world.
be cut off from/closed to/isolated from the outside world
Parts of the country have been virtually closed to the outside world for 20 years.

the material world

real things, rather than ideas and beliefs:
Is the material world all that exists?

for all the world as if/as though/like

literary exactly as if or exactly like:
She sat reading her paper, looking for all the world as if nothing had happened.

out of this world

informal extremely good, enjoyable etc:
The graphics and sounds are out of this world.

do somebody a world of good

to be very good for someone's health or mental state:
A bit of fresh air and exercise will do her a world of good.

in a world of your own/in your own little world

used to say that someone seems to spend a lot of time thinking or imagining things, and does not seem to notice what is happening around them:
She was a shy child who seemed to live in a world of her own.

mean the world to somebody/think the world of somebody

if someone or something means the world to you, or if you think the world of them, they are very important to you and you love or respect them very much:
Lee thinks the world of that dog.

somebody would give the world to do something

used to say that someone would like to do something very much :
He would give the world to see her again.

be/feel on top of the world

informal to feel extremely happy

be a man/woman of the world

to be someone who has had many experiences and is not easily shocked

not for the world

used to emphasize that you would not do something:
I wouldn't hurt her for the world.
I wouldn't have missed it for the world.

the world is your oyster

there is no limit to the opportunities that someone has:
If you've got a good education, the world is your oyster.

have the world at your feet

a) to be very famous, popular, or successful:
In those days the band had the world at their feet.
b) to be in a position where you have the chance to become very successful:
a bright young lad with the world at his feet

go up/come down in the world

to move to a higher or lower position in society:
He's gone up in the world a bit since I knew him at college.

set the world on fire/alight

spoken to have a big effect or be very successful:
Her last film didn't exactly set the world on fire.

set/put the world to rights

to discuss or say how the world should be changed to make people's lives better:
We were having a few beers and generally putting the world to rights.

the Michael Jacksons/Mother Teresas/Microsofts etc of this world

spoken used to talk about a particular kind of person or group, by using one person or group as an example:
The US team is new to the soccer scene, and can't expect to beat the Brazils of the world.

think the world owes you a living

to think that you should not have to work and that other people will provide you with everything you need - used to show disapproval

(think that) the world revolves around you

to think that you are the most important person and everyone else should only be interested in making sure that you have what you want - used to show disapproval

the world and his wife

British English everyone or anybody - used when you want to emphasize that a lot of people do something or anyone can do something:
It seemed that the world and his wife had come to Madrid.

come into the world

literary to be born

bring a child into the world

literary to have a baby, or help a baby to be born

somebody is not long for this world

literary used to say that someone is likely to die soon

normal life

the world

normal life in society, as opposed to a religious way of life, especially in a monastery etc:
She renounced the world and entered a convent.

➔ best of both worlds

at best3 (7)

➔ be dead to the world

at dead1 (9)

➔ it's not the end of the world

at end1 (19)
New World, Third World

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